Growing BIG chickens!!

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Growing BIG chickens!!

Postby brahma » Tue May 18, 2010 2:29 pm

Hi all.

I've got myself some new birds - Croad Langshans - and I'd like to start showing them. I know that a lot of breeders start eggs off in incubators quite early in the year so the chicks have got a long time in front of them for growing nice and big - I guess this is because they grow a lot because of the long daylight hours in spring and summer? Or is it that they can eat more until the winter comes?

I am due to have a clutch hatch out of the incubator today or tomorrow and would like to try and show them. Is there anything I can do to help them grow nice and big? When we get into autumn, would it be ok to setup a light in their house and give them a longer day that way?

Many thanks for your help,

Brahma
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Re: Growing BIG chickens!!

Postby Davidd » Tue May 18, 2010 2:46 pm

Hello, a gradually decreasing daylength lengthens the growing period- so, increasing daylength induces sexual maturity and egg production- Show birds, (large fowl) need to be as large as possible-maximum size is normally achieved from Feb to May- this is because they have the correct amount of decreasing daylight before they come into lay in feb/March the following year- hatch too early Dec/Jan- and these hens will start laying in July/August and stop growing- so in answer to your question- no, do not add more light- if hatched now then they will have the maximum growing period without laying too early and so induce maximum growth. You need to feed them the best feed you can-a good brand of crumbs/growers and pellets- free range when old enough and they should do well :)
Good luck and i am sure you will enjoy the showing side- it's very addictive- always trying for better/best :)
regards, David :)
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Re: Growing BIG chickens!!

Postby brahma » Fri May 21, 2010 12:54 pm

Hi Davidd,

Many thanks for your reply. Was just a bit confused as to why breeders get their eggs in the incubators in January in order to get big birds! So if I've got eggs hatching today (when I left for work this morning there were two eggs pipping!) they should be ok for showing? What is the age that you start showing - e.g. would I show a may hatched bird this year or next?

MAny thanks again,

Andy
brahma
 

Re: Growing BIG chickens!!

Postby Davidd » Fri May 21, 2010 1:18 pm

Hello andy,
brahma wrote:Hi Davidd,

Was just a bit confused as to why breeders get their eggs in the incubators in January in order to get big birds!

If you set eggs in Jan- you will have chicks in February :) -as i said in my earlier post. As you have Croad Langshans ( are they the black or white?) with them being large, heavy, soft feather, I would leave it until next year- then they will have reached their maximum growth and should, with lots of tender care :) be ready for the show bench. If you are only hatching a few- you will be lucky to pick out one or two specimens as close to the breed standard as you can- and only breed from the best you can find/afford.
Keep us informed and good luck on your hatch!
regards, David :)
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